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tv   Countdown With Keith Olbermann  MSNBC  August 31, 2010 1:00am-2:00am EDT

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he stood up with the amplifier and talking to all his people. better late than never. as lincoln said let us judge not that we be not judged. that's "hardball" for now. countdown with keith olbermann starts right now. which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow? social security and medicare, the most popular government programs ever created now squarely in the sights of republican candidates who want you to believe neither one is constitutional. hate in the heartland? far from the proposed park 51 project with new york city, a federal investigation under way of possible arson at the charred construction site of an islamic
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center in tennessee. helping new orleans on the eve of your free health clinic. the president marks the fifth anniversary of hurricane katrina, pledging continued support for residents of the gulf coast. >> not just people here and folks in the white house, but all of america remains concerned and committed to their rebuilding. >> hurricane earl strengthening in the caribbean intensifying as it moves across the atlantic. we will have the latest projections and details. and scripted spirituality. in preparation of saturday's beckoning, glen cleared the slate and cleared his mind. >> i am only writing a few bullet points. and i am doing that so i don't get in the way of the spirit in case he wants to talk. >> well, he did want to talk. you will hear what he said to beck. all that and more now on countdown. >> don't believe me. just watch it yourself.
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>> good evening from los angeles. i'm lawrence o'donnell. in for keith olbermann. the man poised to replace a two-term incumbent as the republican nominee from the great state of alaska said social security is unconstitutional. in our fifth story tonight, he said that he might want to privatize it. attorney joe miller came out of nowhere, brandishing an endorsement from sarah palin to challenge lisa murcowski in last week's primary and currently leads by 1700 votes with counting still under way. towards the end of the campaign, murcowski began telling voters miller would take away medicare and social security. on cbs yesterday, miller did not exactly back away from the claim. queue, bob schaffer.
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>> you have also taken fairly controversial, some would say extreme positions. first you say you want to phase out medicare and you want to privatize social security. there a lot of people in alaska on medicare and getting social security. isn't that going to be a problem for you in this general election? >> yes and i would suggest to you if one thing that the constitution is extreme, the founders are extreme. we simply want to get back to basics and restore the constitutional foundations to the contrary. the federal government becoming less onerous and involved and basically every item of our lives. there does have to be transition with respect to social security. what said consistently is if you paid into the system and are dependent, we have to get the
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fiscal house in order so we can continue to pay the benefits. to suggest that there is nothing that can be done and we have to continue as the way things are ignores the fact that the trust fund is empty and full of iou's and there more expenditures or more out lays coming out from social security than inlays and irresponsible to say that this is something that shouldn't be addressed. there a lost options out there. we have to look at all the options including privatization. something that bush championed in the administration and representative brian is looking at. i believe it is irresponsible and basically part of the crisis of leadership in d.c. to not look at social security and understand there has got to be a solution posed. we have to take a look at it and make sure we create a solution so the seniors are not left out in the cold. >> the president believes it is
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irresponsible to not look at the future of social security, specifically his national commission on fiscal responsibility and reform. including the occasionally intemperate cochairman alan simpson, the senator from wyoming. the white house said last week mr. obama will not fire simpson after he apologized for saying in an e-mail that social security is "like a milk cow with 310 million of those things." he calls for simpsons departure and they continue to mount with bernie sanders. several democratic members of congress say simpson should step down with two democratic senate candidates. not to mention the national organization for women and other advocates for women and the elderly. joining us tonight is ashley carson, executive director of the older women's league and recipient of the angry e-mail and apology.
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thanks for your time, ashley. what was the part of the e-mail that you found offensive to women. >> one of the parts was the part you highlighted. there were more subtle attacks. there was a statement specifically about my ability to possibly read a graph from the social security administration chief actuary and that goes back to the old ways of saying that women are bad at math. it also attacks my credibility and basically stated i'm not doing honest work. >> ashley, the white house accepted alan simpson's apology. how about you? >> i'm very appreciative of mr. simpson's apology and he
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reacted so quickly by sending the apology, but it really doesn't suffice. this man has showed a consistent decades long pattern of doing things that just show bad judgment. i think he needs to be removed. our fiscal situation is serious. the president created this commission and we need somebody who has better judgment than mr. simpson. >> who would you suggest that the president replace him with by executive order that seat that has to be found on a republican. who was the republican that you would recommend? >> none off the top of my head, but i advocate that we had more women on the fiscal commission. >> sticking with the republican issue, are there any republicans that you would listen to on the subject of social security on entitlement. >> i think the issue of social security should be taken outside of the executive order for the commission just because i don't think it's the appropriate place
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to look at the long-term solvency of social security. there no experts on social security's adequacy and solvency and i think it could be better for the long-term problems which there aren't any problems in social security for 30 years. it could be better fixed by a group of experts and i hope it's bipartisan. >> there problems in social security for you. it is solvent until 2037. workers your age who are contributing to social security every day, we concurrently tell you when your time comes to collect, the money will not be there according to all projections we have today. that's one of the commissions looking at it. the other reason is it's written into their executive order by the president. the president wants them looking at things including changes to address, the growth of entitlement spending s. your problem with president obama opening up this issue that he
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ordered him to look at? >> no, i think the president should be looking at medicare, medicaid, and social security. i don't think there is a process in social security. when you say that it will run out of money in 30 years, that's actually not factually correct. >> it will never run out of money, but only pays you 75% of the benefits they project for to you receive. it will only pay 60 to 75 cents on the dollar. it will never go empty. is that okay with people your age to collect 75%? >> no. i think we would like to fix the long-term problem so that in 2037, everybody can receive 100% of their benefits and everything they paid in over their working lives. there a number of things we can do to ensure that 100% of benefits are paid. one of the things is raising the cap on taxable earnings.
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president reagan prepared for this in the 80s. we raised the cap to cover 90% of earnings. it the older women's league advocates that we put the cap at 90%. it's dropped down consistently to around 80 or 83%. if we bump it back up, we can solve a lot of the problem in 30 years. >> the thing is the sooner you do it, the more impact it has. we will talk a lot more about this when the commission comes out if they can reach an agreement. we will find out if they can. the director of the older women's league, thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> let's turn to msnbc contributor ezra kline and columnist for news week and the "washington post." this commission always controversial. 18 members and democrats and republicans and they require 14 votes to issue a report. has simpson ruined this and made
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it politically impossible to come to an agreement and have recommendations taken seriously? >> don't buy it. it was never going anywhere in the 50 place. what people should watch is not that he said something offensive in a letter which was like saying he woke up and put on his shoes. it's par for the course. what they should be looking at is the commission is narrowing with social security and all the rumors and the reporting and the different things people are fighting over, they don't seem to be getting anywhere and too scared to do anything on health care. social security is falling in their sights. there was a bit of a problem. you can go into solvency and it isn't the only thing in the picture. there was an argument for it to be part of the deal. >> they can't do their job by looking at social security. they have been ordered to balance the budget by 2015, leaving interest payments aside. >> tweaks do not have any real
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effect. >> what i'm hearing is that they can't come to the full agreement which was the balanced budget we were talking about, there was a likelihood we will get a partial agreement. that doesn't fit the commission's initial mandate and gives a start and signal that the bond marks and things of that nature. there was a possibility that they can't get to the hurdle they need. the 14 votes that is something that is big and they come out with something smaller and a confidence building measure. maybe it will be good or bad, but it will be centered around social security. # >> the target for social security is actually 75 years for very good reason. they take the longest view of anyone in government. it's for workers like you if we are content to sit here and say it's okay if we have to pay 3/4 of the benefits in 2037. it's the younger work with the workers in their 20s and 30s and it's hard and sudden. the issue that the commission seems to be face suggest how do
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we address social security. are there elements within social security that the democrats are going to be willing to negotiate on? >> they would negotiate on the payroll cap, but we need to step back a bit. one thing about social security, it is not that big. in fact it is the exact same amount of money to extend the bush tax cuts over the same amount of time. we are talking about the amount of money. >> you will have to hold it there. is that to say that the democrats should be willing to violate fdr's principal that the social security be self funding and pay for itself so that the workers can actually claim that what they getting is what they earned? are we supposed to depart and pay out of general revenue for the first time? >> it depends on the deal we are offered. i don't see a problem for that.
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there a lot of things in the budget that don't make sense. health care, defense, the tax code. i came with the impression that should be cut and raise the tax cap. it actually seems like they are functioning efficiently. you are right. you have to go outside of self sufficiency. we need to balance the federal budget. that's why i like the architecture that looks at everything. when you have been doing the social security, you make choices that will be worse policy than looking at things in a coherent fashion. >> the budget can be balanced and in a relatively short-term. the interest is the longer projection. >> that's a medicare problem. fdr picked 65 as the compromised number. the life expectancy for male workers in the united states was 58.
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this program was never intended to be paying people for decades and decades. it does that now effectively, but to do it long-term, someone is going to have to do something serious about adjusting it. >> one thing is the worker who is did get to 65 lived a long time. >> about 10 years. >> most of the gains came in the upper half. richer workers and affluent workers who don't work menial jobs do work a lot longer. workers in a bottom half gained a few years. that's why i'm skeptical to retirement age side of this. i am much more inclined to means testing and a tax cap and a change than towards raising the rate across the board. folks who don't have jobs like you and i or a lot of the folks and making these arguments i'm worried about them. they said you know you should raise the cap on my earnings, that's one thing. when they say you should make people who don't want to retire retire later. i'm more skeptical.
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it seems like it's off loading pain on people who have less of a voice. >> i think that's where the conversation belongs. you can do in a few of these things, you don't have to do all of them. if you hate it, you can fight it, but you have to give on something else. we will be back to the subject a lot. "the washington post" declined. thank you very much. coming up, glen beck told followers he would listen to the voice to tell him what to say on saturday. we have tapped into his feed and will bring you the other half of the conversation in a countdown exclusive. federal investigators are looking into a fire at site of a proposed mosque in tennessee.
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the job is not finished in the gulf. coming up, the promises made by president obama
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echoing those made five years ago. hurricane earl is a category four storm as it batters the north eastern caribbean and coming up, the path it could take into the holiday weekend.
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he explained that the taliban uses it as part of a list of talking points and meetings with
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villagers and potential recruits. we talk about how america tortures with waterboarding and guantanamo and the killing of independent women and children in air attacks and america gives another gift with the street protests to prevent a mosque from being built in new york. another taliban official who remains active in the insurgency told news week "i expect we will soon be receiving more american muslims who are looking for help and how to express our rage. let's call in the senior partner with flash point global partners. good evening. >> it's easy to see how our taliban members want to shoot off their mouths and making claims and they are as full of crazy spin as anybody else. they might get near reporters. what is your sense of how true this might be.
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this islamic center issue may actually be used as a recruiting tool. >> it's simple the same way people are using this issue to rally foolish people in this country and get them all worked up. the taliban is doing the same in afghanistan. they are not just a representati representative, but the chief spokesman. this may be for propaganda purposes, they used the koran and the prophet cartoons. all of these are justified and look at what they said. look at what they wrote. they reflected not only issues in the muslim world outside of the united states, but issues going on inside the united states. we have to be careful. there has been a scattering recruited into terrorist
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networks. if we keep up the rhetoric and keep alienating people and we guarantee there will be people most likely american muslims exposed to this nonstop for weeks. this is unproductive and the work of chicken hawk politicians putting our lives at risk. >> it strikes me as provokeations go or the recruitments go, this sounds like one of the weaker ones that he rattled off torture in guantanamo bay and the killing of innocent women and children. doesn't that sound more effective than the streets of new york yelling about where they want things located? >> it has to do with the timing really. you have to understand that the park 51 controversy is not taking place in a vacuum. it's taking place at the same
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time that you have the incident down at the murfreesboro mosque and you have a crazy lunatic in gainesville who want to burn korans for fun. all of this is coming sdpog getting noticed by al qaeda and supporters. her view is with a plot to win back the dignity and honor in america. they are not afraid about the mosque not being build and they hope we won't build it. they are against it 100%. you have to understand that their perspective is they want us to tear each other apart. they want the country to tear each other apart with ashl and religious prejudice and conflict and we're calling into that trap. it's disastrous. a terrible mistake and it's unfortunately we are falling into a trap they set for us.
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>> if we did the mosque and there was a ribbon cutting a month later and they would still be spinning the same nonsense and the same stuff to their recruits. >> look, mosque or no mosque, let's end the rhetoric and stop calling them evil. let's stop talking about it like it's a flesh-eating virus. islam is a religious like all others and they have a right to pray and practice faith in the united states without being demonized. we will suffer the consequences. it is entirely unacceptable and it is american service men out in the fields and facing this problem firsthand.
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if you want to make america the shining city on the hill, we have to live up to them and we have to live as our example. they have to respect us rather than fear us. >> demonstrating clearly that the location of that mosque in new york is not as some politicians like to call it a local issue. thanks for your time tonight. >> thank you very much. >> still to come, big promises made after katrina and which were kept? where did the billions in government aid end up? plus, children's advil® brings fever down faster than children's tylenol®. choose children's advil®. relief you can trust.
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where did the money promised to louisiana go after hurricane katrina? in a word, oil. the story and douglas brinkley joins me. # glen beck draws a crowd on the mall on a summer saturday. i got to tell you, that's not so hard. [ male announcer ] how do you know when something's good?
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we're out there every day with clients like jetblue -- financing their fleet, sharing our expertise, and working with people who are changing the face of business in america. after 25 years in the aviation business, i kind of feel like if you're not having fun at what you do, then you've got the wrong job. my landing was better than yours. no, it wasn't. yes, it was. was not. yes, it was. what do you think? take one of the big ones out? nah.
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it was one of the worst natural disasters in u.s. history followed by one of the worst man-made disasters in u.s. history. 1800 people lost their lives. millions left to deal with unprecedented destruction and devastation. our third story, in the five years since hurricane katrina struck, some rebuilding continues and many wounds have not healed. many neighborhoods still forgotten. president obama makes his tenth
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trip to the gulf over the weekend to mark the anniversary speaking at xavier university and praising the resilience of new orleans. >> it was a natural disaster, but also a man-made catastrophe. a shameful break down in government that left countless men and women and children abandoned and alone. it was not hard to imagine a day when we tell our children that a once vibrant and wonderful city had been laid low by indifference and neglect. that's not what happened. together we are helping to make new orleans a place that stands for what we can do in america. not just for what we can't do. ultimately that must be the legacy of katrina. not one of neglect, but of action. not one of indifference, but of empathy. not of abandonment, but of a
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community working to to meet shared challenges. >> later in an exclusive with nbc's brian williams, the president addressed the criticism his administration received for another man-made catastrophe, the bp oil disaster. >> the only thing in common we had with the katrina response was alan who helped to organize rescue efforts and he did so under katrina and he did so for us. if you look, we had immediately thousands of vessels and tens of thousands of people who are here. what we are seeing now is a lot more work to be done. that's because of the sturdiness and swiftness of the response. there is a lot less oil hitting
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the shore and it is beaches than anybody anticipated given the volume coming out of the oil well. >> as the administration prepares to handout billions to gulf coast residents affected by the oil disaster, another lesson to be learned from the previous administration. president bush pledged nearly $15 billion for the creation of a so-called gulf opportunity zone. >> within this zone, we should provide immediate incentives for job-creating investment. tax relief for small businesses and incentive it is to companies that create jobs and loans and loan guarantees for small businesses and including minority-owned enterprises to get them up and running again. # >> as news week reports, louisiana received more than half of that money, but instead of funds reaching those in need, much of it went to the state's oil industry. $2 billion to production projects including one billion to expand a refinery that wasn't flattened.
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new orleans received less than 1% of the nearly $6 billion in bonds issued state-wide so far. the lower ninth ward receiving none of it. joining me now is history professor and editor and author of the great deluge in hurricane katrina, new orleans and the mississippi gulf coast. thanks for joining us. it's taken sometime for both you and harry shear and others to get across that this was not a natural disaster. what happened was the failure of levies not holding which was in fact a man-made disaster. do you think that is yet comprehended nationwide? it's understood in new orleans. >> definitely understood in new orleans, not nationwide. we built lego levies. the army corps of engineers created this disaster. the city of new orleans deserves a national levy system. people in the lower ninth ward where the canal breech, they built homes thinking they were save and army corps wouldn't
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build faulty levies. we need to i think harry is doing a great job of saying this levy system is not good enough. years ago after the storm everybody said let's make the netherlands and a dutch system and the saved dam from the sea, we haven't built a levy system with the level four or five protection level and as we are talking about a hurricane hitting the east coast and another hurricane coming anywhere near that mississippi towards new orleans is not good news for new orleans. it needs a levy and dike system and new orleans is one of the great cities. we need to protect it. >> i was there shortly after katrina and i was there again recently. are there areas of new orleans that should not be rebuilt because of the flood threat? >> it's all a question of money.
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what's happened is in neighborhoods where journalists go to new orleans, they are confused. you go to the above sea level parts and the tourist area and the french quarter and you see people in restaurants and the saints won the super bowl and you go to the ninth ward and very little happened. there is a musician's village due to happen at that time or brad pitt's make it right foundation, these are marvelous programs and a lot of grass roots organizers. there has been no attempt to really help these poor neighborhoods. there over 50,000 areas that are blighted in new orleans right now. you can't go back. the lower ninth used to be 60% homeowners over that. people want to come back. there tens of thousands of people coming back. how do you if the banks won't give you a loan. if you don't have schools and how do you come back if hospitals are closed?
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if insurance companies won't cover you. nobody is being honest to people in the neighborhoods. it's death by 1,000 bits of indifference. their tale of two cities and a new orleans that is coming back and the tourist district in the port and the poorer neighborhoods they think have been neglected by the country. >> where did the money go? i knew the zones would be giving us through the tax code and many do what they were doing anyway. we have seen that before in the enterprise zones that failed in their attempts to do what they claim they can do. i never expected that money to show up. what about the rest of the money promised to louisiana and new orleans? what happened? >> you have to understand, new orleans is seen as a blue city. it's a democratic congress and people operating in a red state. a lot of the money that gets and
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goes to louisiana gets tied up in what the state wants. in new orleans they have been given a bad deal. charity hospital, the long time hospital off the french quarter that used to serve poor people and middle class people. there has been a shift in the money emphasis to baton rouge and the oil and gas industry as you mentioned on the the out set. the problem i have with these oil and gas companies in louisiana, they are treating the state like a third world country. they are not putting resources back. they don't operate in new orleans anymore. they don't care about the wetlands. what our country has done to america's wetlands is tragic. this is one of the great areas like the everglades or yosemite. look at the license plates. sportsman's paradise and it's not a sportsman's paradise anymore. they build the mississippi river gulf outlet. it's shut now and caused wind
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tunnel effect. they are using toxic dump zones and companies dump their junk in louisiana and pull out. louisiana now in my opinion and america has to stand up for the wetlands and some of this money from offshore drilling has to come back in to the poor neighborhoods of new orleans and help them rebuild properly. >> a story in douglas brinkley. i know you have so much more to say. we won't give up. >> thanks for your time. >> a reminder that the two-day free health clinic funded through your generosity begins tomorrow in new orleans. medical volunteers are needed. please visit for more information. coming up, what a difference a day makes in the head of beck. the no politics of saturday were politics as usual sunday with beck making it clear to his followers, the president is not like us.
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when rachel joins you at the top of the hour, she makes the case as to why the beltway is getting it wrong on republicans in the mid-terms. they aren't uniting.
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hurricane earl and the atlantic season is gaining strength and has people on edge from the virgin islands to maine. nationwide insurance, hit me. i love for an insurance company to be there for me
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before i actually need them. you mean be proactive. yeah, i guess. check your left pocket. [chuckles] nationwide insurance offers proactive insurance services because they want to be there for you before you need them. proactive, like magic.
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hurricane earl and the atlantic season is gaining strength and has people on edge from the virgin islands to maine. our second story, earl was upgraded with winds over 130 miles per hour. a category four hurricane. the eye of the storm traveled north of the virgin islands on monday. a hurricane watch and tropical storm warning is in effect for most of puerto rico. the main damage to that island is expected to come from rain, not wind. joining us now is weather channel meteorologist paul goodloe. where is this going? i need to know where it will be friday afternoon when i'm trying to get on a plane at jfk. >> it should be approaching the northeast, maybe long island as well. that is the big question. what will become this weekend? the good news is fors the end of the weekend, sunday and monday, this shouldn't be anywhere near
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the plans across the mid-atlantic or new england. we have to get there first. it's passings by puerto rico and the big question is, where will it go? right now it will slow down and has the potential to be a category five hurricane. it's supposed to strengthen overnight into tuesday and that could bring you to the category five point. the good news is it should start to weaken as it approaches the southeast coast. # now again, worse case scenario, it travels close to the outer banks and skims the mid-atlantic and skims long island and new england. that is worse case. that's if the big ridge keeping the northeast hot, if that slowly erodes, that slows down a cold front that helps push earl towards the atlantic. the ridge moves on out and a cold front moves in and that
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will drop the temperatures and helps to act as it turns earl towards the open atlantic. what will happen in terms of the beach plans, you have clouds and rough surf again for the beaches and the beaches in the atlantic. it depends what happens over the next 48 to 72 hours as it moves past the bahamas and towards the southeastern u.s. >> paul goodloe, i hope you do not have an exciting hurricane tracking week. i hope it dies out quickly. thanks for your time. >> sure. >> up next, an exclusive on countdown. the identity of the voice speaking to glen beck. [ beep ] ♪ ♪ [ applause ] ♪
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a congresswoman claim that is a million people were at glen
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beck's rally on saturday. cbs news says 87,000. there is no question that after glen beck restored honor to america on saturday, many, many more people watched him attack president obama for his religion on sunday. we will get to that and then there was beck's speech. as keith hinted last week, the crack countdown staff learned the frequency beck was going to use to transmit his event saturday. he cubed the common occurrence of god's fly over because the military wouldn't allow beck to have one with airplanes. then there was beck's speech as keith hinted last week the crack countdown staff learned the frequency he was going to use to transmit his event saturday.
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they realized this gave the unique opportunity to see who this voice is. you will recall beck's claim from last wednesday. >> instead of going for a speech writer or anything else or trying to write something eloquent, i am only writing a few bullet points. i am doing so i don't get in the way of the spirit in case he wants to talk. >> and so when saturday rolled around and we plugged into the frequency and tape the source of the transmission of the voice beck is hearing. let's roll the tape from where we first intercept the beck signal. >> should we test it? hello, glen? it's you know who. glen, let's get this over with. >> just say hello america. >> lord, i think i am one of
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your dumber children. speak slowly. >> hello, america. >> hello america! >> all right, glen. we have a great deal to get through here. read the gettysburg address. >> four score and years ago our fathers brought fourth -- >> now blubber. >> give to t to me. give it to me. >> them one man can change the world. >> man can change the world! >> now glen, tell them about your hotel. >> the hotel i'm staying at -- >> we are nearly there. tell them to look. tell them to look forward. >> look west and look to the heavens. >> nice job today. let's end it. >> for does not end here. >> glen, end it now. >> it shall not end now.
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>> when? >> it shall not end in my generation in your generation. >> listen. america's honor has been restored. the nice people can stop hating their president. let's wrap tup. god bless and good afternoon. >> god bless. >> glen, tonight you will have a vivid dream about johnny damon of the detroit tigers baseball team. throughout the day tomorrow. won't you? demonic. >> the pope even said, this is pope benedict that it is demonic, not divine. >> let's bring in syndicated radio host bill press from toxic talk and how the radical right poisoned the airwaves. i think you can figure out who he was. you were there on saturday. so look.
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on a typical summer saturday on the mall, 80,000 is not a big deal. that's the flow through traffic of tourists. what is your sense of how many people there were actually beck supporters? what percent of the crowd? half or 3/4 of the crowd. >>. >> i am glad he was channelling keith olbermann. i have given credit for giving a big crowd. they pimped us on fox news for about a year. there were more than 80,000 people and i don't know. i would give him 100,000. i continuing shows the power of fox news to attract that many people. it also shows to me that there is a lot of energy on the other side and the energy is not with our base. the energy is with the tea partiers these days. >> getting a crowd there is easy. i have been on a lot of film shoots and you get the film shoot that they didn't even know was going to happen.
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beck side that america today begins to turn back to god. as steve of washington monthly points out who is god talking about racing around on the internet, the christian news wire said for example "glen beck promotes a false gospel. many of his ideas can help america. they also said on christian news wire our country was founded on je deo christian value and mormonism is not a christian denomination. how strange is this for beck trying to be a religious leader of christian conservatives who don't regard his religion? >> it is totally bizarre. he's a talk show host. i'm a talk show host. he morphed after two years of total politics, slapping obama and he


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